Panthers rebound from loss, salvage split with Wolverines
A 12-hit attack, highlighted by Ashley Domino's grand-slam home run, gave the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team a Mid-State Conference split with Wadena-Deer Creek Friday.
After six errors helped W-DC score five unearned runs in an 11-7 win in the opener, Olivia Vaadeland's three-hitter sparked the Panthers to a 15-1 five-inning victory in the second game.
Four errors in the first inning and Mikayla Lehmkuhl's two-run homer in the second sparked W-DC to a 6-0 lead in the first game.
Two errors and Alyssa Carlson's sacrifice fly led to two Park Rapids runs in the third, but the Wolverines responded by scoring three more runs in the fourth and twice in the fifth for an 11-2 advantage.
Park Rapids attempted a late comeback, starting with a four-run fifth inning. Singles by Katie Just, Erika Jerger and Anna Grimes started the inning. Carlson's two-run single and Vaadeland's two-run double cut the margin to 11-6.
In the seventh, Grimes singled and scored on Carlson's RBI single, but Amanda Perkins retired the next three batters to preserve the win.
Grimes went 2 for 4, Carlson went 2 for 2 with four RBI, Just went 2 for 2 and Jerger went 2 for 3 to lead the Panthers' 10-hit attack. Domino allowed 11 runs on 13 hits for the loss.
In the second game, the Panthers jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first inning before an 11-run fourth inning led to the split.
Ashley Thelen's RBI single and Just's two-run single sparked the four-run first inning before the Panthers sent 17 batters to the plate in the fourth.
Domino's grand-slam homer started the fourth inning. A two-run double by Just, a two-run single by Grimes and an RBI single by Domino capped the inning.
Vaadeland allowed one unearned run while striking out three in a complete-game victory. Carlson scored three runs, Grimes went 2 for 3, Domino went 3 for 4 with five RBI, Vaadeland went 2 for 4, Thelen went 2 for 4 and Just went 2 for 4 with four RBI to pace the Panthers' offense.
The split gave the Panthers a 4-2 record in conference games and 5-2 overall mark. W-DC is 2-2 in conference play and 3-3 overall.
"We did not come ready to play in the first game. We were totally on our heels," said Park Rapids head coach Marion Goeden. "Our challenge is to learn from this loss. The second game is what I expect from this team."